This reader has eagerly anticipated the latest gem from Kathryne Kennedy, the new series, The Elven Lords. I love Kathryne's storytelling for the same reason I love Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, and Anne McCaffery--love of storytelling, believable worlds, and unforgettable characters.
These Elven Lords don’t like following rules and so leave their homeland and decide to set up their own world in Georgian England. One of the ways they keep from being bored, in their long life, is to breed up Champions from their bloodline and pit them against the other Dark Elven Lord’s champions. The champions need to be strong but not so strong as to challenge their paternal Lords. Bad things happen to those who dare to offer a real challenge.
I love the contrast Kathryne creates with people’s expectations. We tend to think beauty is good. These elves are not good have a poor opinion of *humans* considering them weak and of no account. Each Lord has a particular element they use to control their city-states. These Lords are about to learn that humans are much more resilient and resourceful then the Elven Lords dreamed. Each generation of humans born since the Elven Lords have taken over England have varying degrees of magic. Humans rarely appreciated being ruled by tyrants and as humans tend to do, they fight back, but rebellion is hardly ever in your face until strength is gained. So there will be lots of plots, danger, and conflicts to fuel this series. Let the games begin.
The first in the Series is The Fire Lord’s Lover. Dominic Raikes is gorgeous, sexy as hell, and strong both in heart and magic. He has learned well the wisdom of hiding his feelings and especially the extent of his power. He is a renowned champion and the son of the Fire Lord. Being mostly human, he has spent his life trying to earn his father’s respect and some affection. Let’s just say, the Fire Lord isn’t capable of love.
Lady Cassandra is betrothed to Dominic. She has spent her life in seclusion, remaining pure and chaste but she has a secret too. Not only does she have her own magic, but also a well-trained assassin and her destiny is to bring down the Fire Lord and free the people of a tyrant and if her husband should get in the way? Well his life as well as hers is expendable.
Unlike Dominic’s sire, Cassandra is fully capable of love. Dominic’s heart is like a desert after years of drought. When the storm clouds roll in a person can’t help but be distrustful. The sparks these two have burn the pages. There is a lot of sizzle between the two as they build trust and a partnership, only to discover an evil beyond what either was expecting. Their story is full of danger, suspense, unexpected humor that makes you laugh, hot sex, and amazing love. The ending will surprise you but leaves you satisfied and content.
Kathryne is a wonderful storyteller and knows how to build a believable and enduring world. Her joy in telling her story is ever present. She’s blended Georgian history, including the King of England and his court, with fantasy and does it very well. Kathryne has some surprising bells and whistles incorporated in her world and some enjoyable contrasts. Her characters, both good and evil, are memorable. Her hero and heroine always make you care for them, worry for them, and cheer them on. I’m impressed with the well-crafted suspense and the rich layering she’s brought to this story.
Would I recommend this story to those who love uniquely crafted paranormal/fantasy? You betcha! I can’t wait for the next story in this series.